Interview | Oberhofer
Oberhofer dishes on influences, karaoke, Dalmation costumes
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 08:11
If you met Brad Oberhofer, frontman of the indie rock group that shares his surname, you’d be surprised to learn that he’s a burgeoning rock star. The reserved young man transforms when he hits the stage with his bandmates.
The band Oberhofer, which just wrapped up a tour with Matt and Kim, has achieved wild success this year on the festival circuit — playing at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Coachella — and in the mainstream music industry. You may recognize the spirited bunch of guys from their performance on Letterman earlier this year. Still, the boys of Oberhofer are a down-to-earth bunch, as we found when they sat down with the Daily before their opening set at the House of Blues on Nov. 16.
The Tufts Daily: Brad, you come from a very musical family yourself with your mother being an opera singer and your sister being a YouTube star — how has that environment influenced you?
Brad Oberhofer: You know, I really hated my Mom’s opera singing when I was a young kid ... and I think in my rebellious phase I pretended to hate classical music. As soon as I made it to the other side of that, I realized it’s the music I connect with personally.
TD: You’ve had the opportunity to tour with Matt and Kim for the past few months — who else would you want to work with?
Pete Sustarsic: The chance to team up with Grizzly Bear would be pretty awesome.
Matt Scheiner: Oh, goddamn it, that’d be sick. They’re so, so awesome.
TD: Oberhofer is blowing up right now. What’s next for you guys?
MS: Who knows? This was such a crazy year. Hopefully, next year will be as crazy or crazier.
TD: What have been some of the highlights?
Dylan Treleven: Going to Lisbon, Portugal was really amazing.
MS: Where we rode and crashed motor-scooters for the very first time.
BO: Matt fell, and [our tour manager] Rubes totally trashed his bike.
TD: Matt and Kim are some crazy cats. Any especially noteworthy stories of being on tour with them?
DT: Barbecuing in a parking lot in Amarillo, Texas when Matt and Kim’s bus broke down. Swimming nude in the Atlantic Ocean in South Beach at four in the morning after karaoke in a dive bar.
MS: And before the karaoke, we did a $20 all-you-can-drink before midnight deal, and then were like, “We should do karaoke!” and we Googled it and were like, “Wow, the best place in Miami is across the street! Let’s go!” Then we did karaoke in a dive bar with fake instruments and this crazy old hag bartender with one tooth and spent like $100 dollars on alcohol and then ran naked into the sea. And Ben swam naked into the pitch-black sea like 300 feet out into the ocean where nobody could see or hear him, didn’t get eaten by a shark and swam back. We all went home alive that night.
TD: You have a really unique sound that [spans everything] from dance-punk to indie-pop — who do you guys find in your audience?
MS: Whoever likes it. We aim for high-energy audience members. But I found we get a lot of younger people who are 16 to 22, but we also get a lot of older folks from 35 to 50 who are still into checking out new music, as I hope to be when I am that age.
TD: Matt, why the glockenspiel?
MS: Well, when I showed up at the first rehearsal, Brad was holding it and said, “Hey, would you mind playing it?” And I said, “Let’s do it, I’m game.” I had never played pitch percussion before, [but] I’ve taken quite a liking to it.
TD: Brad, tell me about the Dalmatian costume.
BO: There was about a year and a half in my childhood where I only wore a Dalmatian costume every day. Spent a lot of time in that thing. Other than that, I was really determined to become a famous rapper. I really thought it was going to happen.
TD: Holiday season is coming up. What’s on everyone’s list for Santa or the Hanukkah fairy?